MSF Belgium logistician Niels De Decker (left) and MFP Florence Denneulin prepare insulated carriers used by vaccination teams to carry meningitis vaccines as they prepare for another day of vaccination in Maradi, Niger on Friday April 17, 2009.

MSF teams working with the Ministry of Health are treating patients suffering from meningitis and are vaccinating in the Dosso, Maradi and Zinder regions. So far a total of 2,135,000 people have been vaccinated by MSF and the Ministry of Health in these three affected southern regions. Meningitis is a contagious disease that kills half of infected people if they are not treated. Since the beginning of this year an area of sub-Saharan Africa known as the meningitis belt has been heavily affected by an epidemic of meningitis. In Nigeria, Niger, and Chad alone, medical teams of MSF are vaccinating a total population of about eight million people. This is the biggest vaccination MSF has ever carried out. Each day, MSF teams are also travelling to urban and remote health centres in order to collect data, review and treat patients and to donate drugs to the health facilities.